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Bird flu scare in Odisha’s Chilika lake; swab samples sent to lab for test

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Chilika, Dec 30:

Taking note of the bird flu cases detected in Kerala, the Odisha government has directed the Animal Resources department to conduct a thorough investigation in and around Chilika lake and its adjacent areas inKhordha district.
bird flu

Anticipating that the migratory birds, coming from Kerala to the Chilika lake, might have been affected by the virus, the Animal Disease Research Institute (ADRI), Phulanakhara, has begun investigation as per the order of the director, Animal Resources department on December 17.

Acting on the directive of the department, a three-member expert team of the Institute comprising Dr HK Sahu, Dr PK Tripathy and Dr Susant Baliarshingh had visited several areas of Khordha district including the lake periphery, collected excreta and swab samples of the birds and sent these to Regional Disease Diagnostics Laboratory (RDDL) in Kolkata for test.

The team, during its visit, had collected swabs of seven migratory birds and water from their habitat in Sundarpur and Manglajodi. Besides, it had also collected swabs of chicken and ducks from various farms at Kerang, Tangi, Khorda and Balugaon.

“Only after we receive the test reports, we can confirm on the presence of the virus,” said a team member.

As per the official reports, there has been no instance of bird flu till date.

The team, however, has kept a tight vigil on the situation given the presence of the migratory birds in Chilika who have come from Kerala.

It may be noted that the poultry farmers of Odisha had incurred massive loss following the outbreak of bird flu in 2012 forcing them to cull over lakhs of chickens and ducks.